"The people of Karabakh are determined to carry on". The Speaker of Parliament of the self declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is in the UK.

The Speaker of Parliament of the self declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, who is currently in Britain as a guest of the British-Armenian Parliamentary Group, on Wednesday (13 June) addressed a group of academics and students from Oxford University at an event organised by the Oxford Armenia Society held at Manchester-Harris College.

Ashot Ghoulian told his audience that over the last twenty years the people of Karabakh had succeeded in rehabilitating their homeland following the conflict. Many reforms had also been implemented, and the basis established for a democratic state. "The people of Karabakh are determined to carry on despite all adversity", Ghoulian said.

Speaking about the insistence of the Karabakh authorities to be represented in the peace process, Ghoulian said that there was no other conflict situation where the main component was not part of the peace process. He said that Karabakh's absence has allowed Azerbaijan to distort the way in which the conflict is presented. The main issue, which is the future of Karabakh, was being marginalised. Instead Azerbaijan was depicting Armenia as the aggressor. Ghoulian insisted that the people of Karabakh must be allowed to determine their own future.

Speaking about the economy Ghoulian said that in recent years Karabakh had identified mining as a source of economic development. It was estimated that there were gold and copper depositis that could last for thirty years. He said that Karabakh at the moment recieves around 40% of its annual budget in the form of loans from Armenia. The figure used to be higher but has now gone down because Karabakh can now generate its own revenues. The loans are paid back from import taxes which Armenia collects on Karabakh's behalf. The authorities in Karabakh have now declared agriculture, ecotourism and the construction of small hydro electric stations as priorities in the economic development of the territory in the immediate future.

Asked about international recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Ghoulian said that he regreted no country had recognised NKR as yet. He referred to other partly recognised entities such as Kosovo and Abkhazia and said that their international recognition came as a result of political manoevering. "The day will come when this manoevering will work in favour of Karabakh as well", Ghoulian said. He added that he did not wish Karabakh to be recognised in this way.

Ghoulian said that Karabakh can be a viable state, but that the Karabakh conflict exists, and it poses a threat to regional security. He condemned what he called "Azerbaijani provocations" in the first days of June which had left many young soldiers dead. He mentioned that a number of British NGOs have been trying to deal with the issue of mistrust between the sides through the development of confidence-building measures.

source: commonspace.eu

picture: Ashout Ghoulian, Speaker of Parliament fo the self declared nagorno-Karabakh Republic (archive picture).

Related articles

Editor's choice
News
Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell underlined that the European Union will make every effort to support the peace process and to remain a committed partner to the Afghan people. "Of course, we will have to take into account the evolving situation, but disengagement is not an option.  We are clear on that: there is no alternative to a negotiated political settlement, through inclusive peace talks.
Editor's choice
News
Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers meet in Berlin as German diplomacy emerges out of the shadows to save the day for Europe

Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers meet in Berlin as German diplomacy emerges out of the shadows to save the day for Europe

German diplomacy has been in the South Caucasus from the day after the three countries declared their independence in 1991. Germany was the first country to set up embassies in the region, but generally German diplomacy has been low-key – preferring to let others, namely France, and later the EU, to do the heavy lifting when it came to issues like supporting the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process. This has changed recently. After the untimely intervention of French president Emanuel Macron in the process that was led by EU Council president Charles Michel in 2022, and given Azerbaijan’s refusal to negotiate in this framework because of what it claims is French bias towards Armenia, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in 2022 reluctantly persuaded to engage with the process directly, and join the Macron-Michel tandem. Nothing at first seemed to have come out of that, and German diplomacy got overshadowed by some missteps in Paris and Brussels, not to mention some awkward phrases of its own foreign minister when she visited the region last year. But it seems that behind the scenes, German diplomacy persisted. Earlier in February Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, travelled to Munich to attend the annual security conference, and on the margins had a long-awaited meeting, bilaterally and later with Chancellor Scholz. At the meeting concrete decisions were taken on follow-up, and thanks to the usual German efficiency the foreign ministers of the two countries were in Berlin on Wednesday (28 February) for detailed talks about the peace treaty. Most of the discussions were in the bilateral format, but there was also a meeting of the Ministers with their German counterpart. The talks continue today. It is the latest episode in a long saga, but not an insignificant one. Germany is a political and economic heavyweight, and its direct involvement may just be what is needed to get the ongoing negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan across the line. At a time when other elements of European diplomacy appear not to be so effective the German intervention is also seen as saving the day for Europe, that needs to remain present and visible in the region.

Popular

Editor's choice
News
Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers meet in Berlin as German diplomacy emerges out of the shadows to save the day for Europe

Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers meet in Berlin as German diplomacy emerges out of the shadows to save the day for Europe

German diplomacy has been in the South Caucasus from the day after the three countries declared their independence in 1991. Germany was the first country to set up embassies in the region, but generally German diplomacy has been low-key – preferring to let others, namely France, and later the EU, to do the heavy lifting when it came to issues like supporting the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process. This has changed recently. After the untimely intervention of French president Emanuel Macron in the process that was led by EU Council president Charles Michel in 2022, and given Azerbaijan’s refusal to negotiate in this framework because of what it claims is French bias towards Armenia, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in 2022 reluctantly persuaded to engage with the process directly, and join the Macron-Michel tandem. Nothing at first seemed to have come out of that, and German diplomacy got overshadowed by some missteps in Paris and Brussels, not to mention some awkward phrases of its own foreign minister when she visited the region last year. But it seems that behind the scenes, German diplomacy persisted. Earlier in February Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, travelled to Munich to attend the annual security conference, and on the margins had a long-awaited meeting, bilaterally and later with Chancellor Scholz. At the meeting concrete decisions were taken on follow-up, and thanks to the usual German efficiency the foreign ministers of the two countries were in Berlin on Wednesday (28 February) for detailed talks about the peace treaty. Most of the discussions were in the bilateral format, but there was also a meeting of the Ministers with their German counterpart. The talks continue today. It is the latest episode in a long saga, but not an insignificant one. Germany is a political and economic heavyweight, and its direct involvement may just be what is needed to get the ongoing negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan across the line. At a time when other elements of European diplomacy appear not to be so effective the German intervention is also seen as saving the day for Europe, that needs to remain present and visible in the region.